Indiana Pacers: The case for and against reuniting with Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers are one of seven teams that currently have a coaching vacancy in the league. While the list was initially not as crowded as before, the Dallas Mavericks spawned fireworks recently upon news of longtime head coach Rick Carlisle not coming back to the franchise. This came after a string of events for the team which involved the firing of seasoned general manager Donnie Nelson and the alleged uncertainty around Luka Doncic‘s long-term commitment.

Front office unrest has not been extraordinary this season. In fact, the Pacers signaled what seems to be the genesis of a defining offseason by firing first-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren after a campaign mired by off-court tumult, locker room disconnect and failed on-court experiments which cultivated in a lottery finish.

The Indiana Pacers should be an interesting destination for available coaches

Aside from Indiana, other teams slated to pluck in the coaching hunt as of writing include Boston, Dallas, New Orleans, Orlando, Portland and Washington. While the list is flocked with teams boasting superstar talents, which the Pacers currently don’t have, or at least, not yet, the Blue and Gold should be an appealing destination for available coaches.

Unlike their big market counterparts, the pressure to make a lofty jump isn’t as high in Indiana, especially with the franchise thriving in the recent past by jumping past teams with solid team culture. However, mediocrity will never be a discussion in Indy, a basketball city, as the franchise is clearly invested on winning in the present.

One coach that the Pacers brass should pursue is Rick Carlisle. One of the league’s most respected tacticians with a wonderful career spearheaded by an NBA title in 2011, he should be pretty high on all teams’ radars. While Indiana will not be the definitive favorites to land the veteran coach, what are his strengths and weaknesses that may benefit or affect the team if he lands the coaching gig?